In a perfect world, all prospects would prefer you beginning the second they swung your hand, and then they’d gladly sign on the dotted line. Regrettably, deals are rarely that easy to win. And it can seem nearly tricky to close when you’re trading with demanding customers who make everything more complicated than it needs to be.

If clients try to push you around, or they waffle endlessly over their next steps, deals can drag on for weeks on end. And, chances are, these interactions won’t even end in a sale.

How to Close Tough Customers

Show that you’re unfazed.

If robust sales prospects sense you’re afraid or nervous, they’ll be even more likely to push you around. Resist the urge to speed up the sales meeting or change your approach in answer to a tough customer’s bad attitude. Instead, show that you’re unfazed by adhering to your script even if they urge you to speed things along.

When in doubt, match the prospect

Seldom, the best way to get a tyrant to work is to match them. Rise to their tone, pace, and energy, and you may be astonished to find them backing down in answer. By matching the personality, you’re more likely to win their respect and hold their attention.

Get prospects talking about their challenges.

Difficult candidates have a million separate things on their minds. They don’t want to listen to you. Instead of forcing them to attend to what you want to say, try to get robust consumers to talk about themselves and their business problems. With this way, you’ll tap into their sensitive side and break through the hostility.

Understand prospect’s top objectives

Ask your candidates which goals they most want to succeed in the short term. Try asking, “What are the top priorities in the next six, 12, or 18 months?” By following your resolution with those purposes, you can create greater urgency for even the wariest clients.

Get real commitment

Before you get to your program, find out how dangerous the prospect is about explaining the issues and goals they’ve spoken to you about. Instead of asking if the customer is committed to buying your product or service, try asking, “Are you committed to doing something about this right now?”

By holding your prospects’ feet to the fire, you’ll be able to assess whether or not they’re ready to commit to what you have to offer.

Maintain conversational control

When dealing with difficult prospects (or their colleagues), it’s not unusual for that person to capture the conversation. This looks like someone pursuing unnecessary tangents, driving the conversation in different directions, and talking over you.

The salesperson needs to preserve power over communication at all times. If you notice things getting out of hand, don’t wait to politely interrupt with, “Excuse me, I’d be happy to speak to this point more after the presentation, but I’d like to respect everyone’s time by keeping to our agenda and staying on track.”

This should allow you to dispute the discussion back toward you and your prospect’s collective goals.

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